Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Standard R-value and Effective Rvalue?
Standard R-value is the traditional way to measure how well a given insulation material can prevent or
resist heat transfer through its membrane when tested in a lab. Essentially, a scientists holds a heat
source on one side of the material and measures how much of that heat passes through or transfers to
the other side. “Effective” R-value, on the other hand, attempts to measure how that translates to real
Your home or office environment is a complex “system” that is exposed to various sources of heat/cold
and cold, both externally (ex: hot sun/cold rain) and internally (ex: hot oven). The technical terms used
to identify these hot/cold sources or temperature effects are Conduction, Convection, Radiation and air
infiltration/circulation. As a result of this dynamic system with many real world variables, the “effective”
R-value is often different than the standard R-value.
In short, effective R-Value is a more modern and realistic way to measure insulation value. It
takes into consideration all types of heat/cold transfer that occurs in real world conditions.
It could be argued that effective R-value is more accurate and more important because most people
aren’t interested in a generic lab result so much as they are in the net effect the material will have on
the comfort of their home and, let’s be honest, the comfort of their bank account.
The bottom line is that spray foam offers the absolute highest effective R-value of all insulation products
on the market today – up to 4x that of traditional materials!
The effective R-value of spray foam translates to real world savings for you!
What are the pros & cons of spray foam insulation?
Suffice it to say, spray foam has many more pros than cons. Here are some of the pros:
It can save up to 50% on energy consumption which is great for the planet and your pocket book.
Because it completely seals off your home environment, it makes your home healthier by keeping
out allergens, pollutants and pests like rodents and insects. This sealing feature also prevents
uncomfortable cold drafts or hot spots from affecting ideal climate control.
The closed cell system in particular, can reduce the growth of potentially harmful mold and
mildew by providing a 100% moisture barrier.
It makes for a more peaceful and comfortable home environment by significantly reducing the
penetration of annoying outside noises.
Another attractive feature is that it’s non-toxic and doesn’t leave any bothersome residual smells.
Recent studies show that using spray foam in your home or office remodel or new construction
can contribute to the over structural integrity of your building thus adding to its longevity and
possibly even to its resale value!
What about the cons?
For many people, the only potential “con” would be that the initial investment for installation is
up to 30% more than traditional insulation materials.
However, given the annual savings of up to 50% as well as the above mentioned value added to
your structure and quality of life, we feel that it is not only an investment worth making but
perhaps one of the best investments you will ever make in your home or commercial property!
What is the difference between open cell and closed cell spray foam
Both open cell and closed cell spray foam are cutting edge technologies that are light-years ahead of
their competition and are widely considered to be the best choice for private and commercial
applications. Understanding the differences might help you decide the best option for your property.
First, let’s briefly review a few traits they have in common…
Both materials boast the same application method which means that they can be sprayed into the
tiniest hardest to reach areas of your home which effectively “seals” off your home from the outside
environment; both contribute to the strength and value of your structure; both are green materials
because they are non-toxic and reduce energy consumption; both will save you between 30-50% on
your annual energy bills.
As for the differences…
The closed cell system is a much denser finished product and therefore is virtually impenetrable to both
air AND moisture. As a result, it offers a higher overall insulation value and can be used in outdoor and
roofing applications where it will be directly exposed to moisture. It also has a smoother finished
appearance so it is acceptable to use where it will remain visible.
The open cell product, on the other hand, has a rougher finished appearance and is not recommended
for use in areas where it will remain visible or be directly exposed to moisture as it does not provide an
effective moisture barrier.
Due to these differences, the closed cell system typically requires slightly more of an initial financial
investment than open cell.
If economics are your primary concern then the open cell system might be the choice for you.
For maximum insulation and moisture protection; closed cell spray foam is the ideal option.
How much does spray foam insulation cost to install?
The cost of spray foam tends to vary widely from project to project. Several factors affect the way costs
are calculated. Usually, the factors that most directly affect cost are: location, difficulty of access,
desired thickness of spray foam application, and which product (open or closed-cell) you wish to install.
The open-cell system is usually about 3x less expensive than the closed-cell system, for example.
Spray foam cost is usually calculated by board foot. This is the cost of each 1’x1’x1″ section. So, if you
have an area 100 SF and you want 3″ of spray foam then you would have 300 board feet of product.
As with any construction project, the cost effectiveness of installing insulation often comes down to the
experience, accuracy and expertise of the company providing the estimate and installing the product.
That is why we here at Synergy Insulation offer in-house professional consultants to assist all our clients
in determining an accurate, budget friendly price to solve all their insulation needs.
Don’t leave your insulation job in the hands of any ol’ Joe Blow claiming to be an insulation expert…trust
the experienced professionals at Synergy Insulation!
It’s easy, just giving one of our professional estimators a quick call. They will be happy to provide a
complimentary consultation and, in most cases, even provide a no obligation cost projection right over
We cannot speak for other contractors or spray foam installers out there, but we here at Synergy Insulation are dedicated to providing our clients with professional, quality products and service from beginning to end. We understand that a new construction or remodel project already comes with many headaches. So, we make it our foremost goal to ensure that your project goes as smooth and easy as possible.
With that in mind, we will never hide costs or switch products on our clients. We value our clients and our reputation. So, we will earnestly endeavor to provide an upfront cost estimate that is as accurate as humanly possible. This is our guarantee to you!
With Synergy Insulation you can be confident that you will receive the highest quality products and service available in the industry today. Don’t trust your home or commercial project (not to mention your carefully budgeted dollars) to an inexperienced or shady outfit.
Trust the experienced pros at Synergy Insulation to handle all your insulation needs. We’ll treat you right from beginning to end!
We are here to help. All you need to do is call one of our in-house professional estimators today, and get a free consultation regarding your project needs. In most cases, a no obligation cost estimate can even be provided right then and there over the phone.
How does spray foam insulation perform in hot weather?
“Shut the door. You’re letting out the cold air!” How many times have we heard those words on a hot
That statement highlights why spray foam is the best choice to “shut the door” on hot weather. Put
simply, it prevents hot air from entering your home and cold air from from escaping.
We should explain that when we say “shut the door” what we are referring to is something we like to
call the “thermal envelope” effect.
Due to spray foam’s unique properties it can be sprayed into even the tiniest, hardest-to-reach areas of
your structure and then immediately expands up to 1000x its application thickness effectively sealing off
the climate controlled indoors from the harsh outdoor heat – a feature that is unique to spray foam. In
addition, the spray foam material itself creates an air-impermeable membrane that prevents airflow or
heat transfer from outside in and inside out.
When spray foam is professionally and properly installed throughout the entire home, it results in what
we like to call the “thermal envelope” which is the ideal condition for maintaining an efficiently
controlled climate. It’s kind of like putting your whole house in a Ziploc baggie. Under these “sealed”
conditions your HVAC system’s cooling ability is maximized, resulting in the most efficient use of energy
Spray foam is the optimal material for hot weather applications!
How does spray foam insulation perform in humidity?
Because spray foam is so incredibly good at sealing off the outside elements from your indoor, climatecontrolled
environment, we can confidently say that it is the best insulation material for use in humidity.
There are two main factors to consider when contemplating insulating your home in a humid area:
#1 – You must consider a material that can completely “air seal” your indoor living environment
#2 – The material itself needs to be able to keep moisture from penetrating through its barrier
Only spray foam can do both of those things adequately. Any other insulation material fails in both
The unique spray application and expansive properties of spray foam make it possible to place into even
the smallest, hardest-to-reach areas of your home and then expand up to 1000x its application thickness
allowing it to completely seal off any holes or cracks that would otherwise allow the hot, humid outside
air into your home.
Additionally, the spray foam material itself – especially the closed cell system – creates a waterproof
barrier that prevents any moisture from getting through; be it snow rain, sleet or even humidity.
If you live in a humid climate, spray foam is your only choice for an outstanding insulation solution!
What is air sealing?
Creating a complete air seal throughout your house is one of the most important things you can do to
achieve optimal insulation and save the maximum amount of energy – and dollars – possible.
Traditional insulation materials like Cellulose or Fiberglass (whether blown in or hand placed) cannot
provide a true air sealing affect. It is a limitation of their very design and application technology.
Oh sure, when such materials are placed by professionals, it may look well sealed and well insulated, but
air transfer and heat waves easily sneak their way through the tiniest little holes and cracks, unseen by
the naked eye.
Additionally, neither cellulose nor fiberglass as an insulation material has the capability of completely
blocking outside air from transferring into your indoor living spaces, even if they could seal off the nooks
and crannies of your structure. Again, this is a technology limitation of the material itself not related to
how well it is placed.
Spray foam on the other hand, is an advanced technology that in and of itself creates an airproof barrier
and completely stops the transfer of air in and out of your home. That is why you should only trust spray
foam insulation to provide a thorough and complete seal of all air-leaks, holes or cracks throughout your
The air-sealing effect that spray foam provides – along with its superior insulation value can reduce your
monthly energy expenses by up to 50%.
Why is air sealing my home so important?
Air sealing your home or office is so important because up to 40% of your energy consumption can be
lost by inadequate sealing of tiny holes and cracks that are present throughout your entire structure.
Insulation professionals that only install traditional materials like cellulose or fiberglass may overlook
this statistic because their product is incapable of truly sealing off your indoor climate-controlled living
space from the outside elements – both in terms of the product being unable to be installed in such a
way so as to seal off holes and cracks and in terms of the material itself allowing air to transfer straight
through its supposed insulation barrier. As a result, it is often down played as of little importance.
However, the advent of spray foam has brought to light the significant reduction in energy
consumption and expense that is possible when your home is completely air-sealed with spray foam
Not only is this state-of-the-art technology going to save you money but, because it reduces your overall
energy consumption footprint, you will sleep a little sounder at night knowing that you are doing your
part to contribute to making our Earth a greener planet.
All-in-all, air sealing your home with eco-friendly spray foam is a great way to add some green to the
planet and your bank account!
How does spray foam insulation help keep allergens out of my home?
Obviously, allergens can enter a home through open doors or windows, chimneys, attic vents and an
infinite number of otherwise larger openings. However, because the majority of allergens are
microscopic, they can also get into your home through tiny cracks, holes or air-leaks that are routinely
found in every personal or commercial property – no matter how well built or insulated it appears to be.
The good news is this: no matter what type of private or commercial building you own, if you want to
have it sealed up like a Ziploc baggie and prevent allergens from invading your indoor space then spray
foam can do that for you!
How can spray foam provide this amazing feature while no other insulation material available on the
market today can?
Well, only spray foam is designed to be sprayed on thin and stick to any surface; once in place it
instantly expands to nearly 1000x its application thickness which allows it to completely seal off even
the tiniest of nooks and crannies within your structure – blocking out potentially hazardous and
annoying allergens completely and permanently!
When this state-of-the-art technology is placed by our fast, friendly and experienced professionals, you
can be assured of the most allergen free environment possible!
How does spray foam insulation help keep pests out of my home?
As with allergens and pollutants, pests can enter your home or office through traditional openings such
as doors and windows, attic vents, chimneys, etc…
However, some pests, such as mice, cockroaches and other small insects can easily enter your home
through much smaller spaces that are left unsealed and unseen throughout your home or office
building. All it takes is an opening the size of a pen head and suddenly you are infested with annoying
and potentially harmful pests.
Clearly, this is a scenario than any home or business owner would want to avoid. Not only is it annoying
and unsanitary to harbor these types of pests in your building, but it could even be embarrassing if
guests or clients were to ever catch sight of them. Ew!
Installing spray foam in your home or office – whether building new or remodeling – can help you take
control of pests and prevent you from having to call pest control!
This is possible because – when spray foam is applied properly by our experienced professionals – it will
seal off every microscopic nook and cranny throughout your entire structure. Once sprayed into place,
this amazing material expands up to 1000x its application thickness which allows it to essentially seal up
your building like a Ziploc bag and prevent annoying and harmful pests from invading.
Other insulation materials cannot boast this feature. Only with spray foam can you be assured of the
most pest-free indoor environment possible!
Does spray foam insulation settle over time?
Standard insulation materials such as fiberglass and cellulose have a bad habit of losing some of their
insulation value over time due to a phenomenon known as “settling” – a process where the material
compresses due to gravity causing it to lose a significant amount of its R-value. This is true whether they
are blown-in or hand placed.
Insulation specialists that primarily offer these traditional materials may have a tendency to overlook or
minimize the settling effect. The truth is, however, that over time (or even immediately if improperly
placed) these materials fail to offer the same insulation that they did at the beginning. The result, of
course, is that your energy bills get higher and higher over the years even if energy prices stay the same
or go down.
Spray foam to the rescue!
Thanks to the amazing technological breakthrough in both the open and closed cell systems, spray foam
will never “settle” or lose any of its insulation value. Once our product is sprayed in place and expands
to its final shape and size, you can count on it to provide a permanent solution to all your insulation
needs – that’s a guarantee!
When installed by our friendly, fast and experienced professionals, you can expect to start saving up to
50% on your utility bills from day one and into the decades to come!
Does spray foam insulation release toxic gasses bad for my family?
As professional installers we certainly take precautions to protect our crew and our clients during the
application process. We wear standard protective gear and we ask the client be out of the home or
office while spraying.
However, that having been said, spray foam is an eco-friendly, non-toxic, bio-stable material that will
never release harmful gases or noxious odors over time. Once sprayed into place it permanently
hardens and then, since it does not degrade or slough, there is no chance of breathing in particulate
matter or any type of accidental exposure for that matter.
We use it in our homes and offices where our families live and work. We are proud to offer this amazing
and trusted product to you and your family along with our guarantee of great service and 100%
Why is spray foam insulation great for my attic?
Up to 40% of your energy consumption – and thus your energy dollars – can be lost through an
inadequately insulated attic space. Spray foam can give those dollars right back to you. Here’s why.
Materials that are traditionally used for insulating attics – such as cellulose or fiberglass (whether blown
in or hand placed) – are limited in their ability to insulate your attic and fail almost entirely in terms of
sealing off holes and cracks (aka: air-leaks) that allow air/heat/cold to go in and out of your attic space
willy-nilly. This is not good!
You’ve heard of throwing money out the window but now you could be throwing money right through
your attic roof – unless you have spray foam insulation that is!
Only spray foam can make your attic air tight by sealing off all air-leaks and at the same time providing a
finished membrane that is impenetrable to air. The obvious benefit being that you prevent your interior
climate-controlled air from escaping through your attic space and into the great outdoors. At the same
time, you disallow cold or hot outside air from making its way inside your living space and affecting your
Sounds simple, but no other insulation material on the market today can provide the type of superior
air-sealing and insulation properties that synergy insulation spray foam products can offer!
How does spray foam insulation compare to a radiant barrier?
Radiant barriers, also known as reflective radiant barriers, are designed to reflect radiation heat or heat
waves so as to reduce their thermal effect on internal temperatures.
To help visualize this just imagine that shiny, aluminum-looking car shade thing you put in your front
windshield to reflect the sun’s radiation from heating up your car. That is what a radiant barrier is.
Now, have you ever noticed that even with the car shade in place, the car still gets pretty hot inside?
That is because radiant heat is only one of the three major types of heat sources that effect thermal
transfer to the interior of your home or office space, and of the three it is the least significant.
Spray foam is far superior to any radiant barrier because it offers true insulation properties, not just
reflection – as is the case with radiant barriers. The option usually does exist (depending on the
project/building design) to use the two products in combination, but the negligible benefits have not
been proven to outweigh the additional expense.
Considering the fact that radiant barriers do virtually nothing to stop heat transfer via conduction or
convection (the two more significant heat sources) with the fact that spray foam is the best product on
the market today; boasting the highest effective R-values industry wide – well, there really is no
comparison – spray foam is hands down the best choice for a more comfortable and energy efficient
home or office space.
Can I use spray foam in my new home?
Spray foam is the ideal choice for insulating your new home or office building. It can be applied to any material, any design, any building. You can even spray it on your roof and around your HVAC ducting for maximum efficiency.
Plus, when done by the experienced professionals here at synergy insulation, you can be sure that the application will be friendly, fast and easy. We use non-toxic procedures so our product won’t leave any noxious odors or harmful fumes.
It will completely seal out the outside environment allowing you to maintain optimal control over your living or work space with the absolute minimum in energy expenditure. That’s good for the planet and your pocket book!
And, perhaps best of all, recent studies show that it can actually add structural strength to the integrity of your building – a feature that is unique to our amazing spray foam technology and could actually add value to your property or even be used as a selling point should you decide to sell.
With all the long term benefits that spray foam can offer – including saving up to 50% on monthly utilities – why would you choose anything else for your new project?
Can I use spray foam insulation in my old home?
Spray foam is hands down the ideal choice if you are remodeling or putting in an addition. Because it
sticks to anything, it can be used with wood stud or metal frame construction as well as block, brick or
concrete, etc…you name it. Also, it doesn’t rely on gravity to help hold it in place; you can stick right on
to your ceiling if you want.
Due to this flexibility in application, we recommend you apply our spray foam product anywhere and
everywhere you can throughout your existing home or office.
But, what if you’re not planning a major remodel or addition?
In that case, you should seriously consider using spray foam in your attic or basement and around your
HVAC ducting to improve the overall energy efficiency of your property. Up to 40% of your monthly
energy consumption can be lost through your attic. Most attics are inadequately insulated with
fiberglass batt or cellulose which doesn’t seal up the tiny holes and cracks that are allowing air transfer –
costing you more in energy expenditures every month.
Use spray foam in your existing home or commercial building and start saving on your utilities – up to
What is a thermal barrier?
A thermal barrier is a term used to describe any given materials ability to effectively prevent the transfer
of heat from one environment to another. In most cases we are simply talking about trying to keep
outside air out of a building and inside air from escaping the building.
This ability is typically measured in terms of R-value. That is to say, how well a material prevents heat
transfer as measured in a laboratory setting. R-values are usually provided as a general reference point
to determine which insulation material is theoretically superior.
However, R-values don’t take into consideration real world conditions such as air-transfer due to air
leaks or even due to the fact that the material itself allows air (and thus hot and cold) to penetrate
through its boundary.
Not to worry.
Spray foam is such a technologically superior material that it boasts higher R-values, both in the lab and
in the real world (effective R-value). This is due to its unique expansive properties which allow it to fill in
every nook and cranny throughout your entire structure and its air-impenetrable membrane. These two
features combine to effectively prevent all forms of air transfer, thereby creating the ideal thermal
What is my homes thermal envelope?
Air is the enemy! Ok, we need air to breathe. But, when it comes to maintaining a well-controlled indoor
climate with minimal energy expenditure, air flow is public enemy number one! This is why we are
always yelling at our family members to shut the door or window, right?
So, with that image in mind, the “thermal envelope” is a term we use in the industry to describe the
capability of any given structure to retain the conditioned air inside (whether hot or cold) and prevent
the outside air from getting in and disrupting the ideal temperature that our HVAC system is working
hard to create.
The better the thermal envelope, the less energy is wasted to maintain the ideal indoor living or working
environment. That translates to savings for our planet and your pocketbook.
So, the goal here is to create the best thermal envelope possible and, sadly, keeping the doors and
windows shut is only a good start. The truth is, up to nearly half of air transfer happens through tiny,
often unseen holes and cracks throughout your building and even right through the supposed insulation
Traditional insulation materials can’t fill in those tiny openings and aren’t efficient at stopping air from
flowing right through their very own “barrier” (we use that term loosely).
Only spray foam – thanks to its amazing expansive properties – can fill in every little nook and cranny
while simultaneously creating a 100% air-proof barrier, maximizing your buildings thermal envelope and
saving you up to 50% on monthly utilities in the process!
Can I use spray foam insulation in my cement block home?
The ideal way to install spray foam insulation in a cement block (cinder block) home is during construction. This allows our professional installers direct access to the empty concrete block cells that will be filled with the spray foam product.
However, even after construction is finished or during a remodel, we can get foam insulation into a block wall by drilling a series of holes near the top of the wall and filling the wall one vertical cell at a time.
Here is how that works: as one cell fills up, the foam will start to exit from the hole in the adjoining cell signaling the installer to move the hose to the next cell and seal the hole that was just filled, and so it goes just like that filling one vertical cell at a time, until the whole block wall is full of foam insulation.
Another option would be to fur out an interior wall with wood or steel studs and spray the foam directly into place over the face of the block wall and in between the studs. Be advised, this option would imply added material costs in the form of studs and sheetrock, etc…and it would result in a slight – although measurable – loss of usable interior square footage.
These are only two examples of how our superior foam insulating products can be retro-fitted to existing concrete structures. Obviously, conditions and circumstances vary but, hopefully you get the idea. Spray foam is a highly adaptable material, and can be used on nearly any project.
We here at Synergy Insulation have the needed experience and expertise to assist you with all your insulation needs!
If you still have questions or concerns about whether our spray foam products can be used on your property, please call one of our in-house professionals to receive a free consultation on your project needs.
What is radiant heat transfer?
Simply put, radiant heat transfer is the heat that comes in the form of radiation otherwise referred to as
A great way to visualize this is to think of how light/heat waves from the sun penetrate through a glass
window on a hot day. Most of those waves make their way straight through a glass door or window
because plain glass is not good at stopping radiant heat – although tinting the glass with a UV filtering
Radiant heat also occurs simultaneously with or as the result of conduction. When your roof or exterior
walls get hot and transfer the heat to the inside (conduction) then, the now hotter wall will
subsequently radiate heat from its surface into your living space causing interior temperatures to rise
and forcing you to use more energy to cool the area.
In these two ways – directly through windows or by heat conducting through your wall – radiant heat is
transferred into your home.
Spray foam can’t help you with stopping radiant heat coming through your windows – sorry – but it can
significantly reduce how much heat radiates off of your interior walls and into your living space. This is
because spray foam is simply the best material on the market today that prevents heat transfer through
conduction which, in turn, sharply reduces radiant heat transfer.
Bottom line: spray foam is your best choice for reducing your monthly utility bills by minimizing heat
What is conduction heat transfer?
Heat transfer through conduction is a complicated scientific concept that we will attempt to describe
here in straight forward terms and with the help of illustrations.
Basically, conduction describes what happens to the walls of your home when it is hot or cold outside. If
it is hot, then the outside of the wall will get hotter and since the outside wall touches the inside wall, it
will eventually transfer that heat to the interior wall. The same process occurs – only in reverse – when
it’s cold outside. In either case, the obvious result is that more energy (and money) is required to
counteract these effects.
Now, that is where insulation is supposed to come in. Ideally, your insulation material should completely
stop this transfer from occurring.
Fiberglass and cellulose are very limited in this capacity, whereas spray foam excels at it. In fact, spray
foam is specifically designed to fight all forms of heat transfer including conduction.
Our spray foam product is the industry leader in preventing heat transfer by conduction and is your best
choice to lower your monthly utility bills by up to 50%.